John McCain is not considered to be a “true conservative.” Indeed, he is considered to be a “true anti-conservative.” And this comes as criticism from the “Right,” not praise from the “Left!”
For conservatives, McCain’s flirtations with the liberals are “sinful:”
- “Comprehensive Immigration” with Ted Kennedy, providing a path to citizenship for “illegal immigrants;”
- “Campaign Finance Law” with Russ Feingold, offering “incumbent protection” since it declared it a “criminal act” for citizens to use their free speech or advertising within 90 days before a federal election;
- “Global Warming” and “Energy-Rationing” sponsorship along with many liberals, including his campaign opponents.
Hugh Hewitz, a radio talk-show host, summarized conservative criticism succinctly:
“McCain is a great American, a lousy Senator, and a terrible Republican.”
With friends like this, who needs enemies? It is a wonder that he is still in the race!
Nevertheless, McCain marches forward with an agenda that might be characterized as “Fortress America!” “Security is Job One!”
“The first responsibility of the next president will be to keep this country safe from (the) enemy.”
There is, indeed, good reason to expect that our enemies will attempt to strike once again on our homeland.
Aside from our terroristic enemies, McCain has sought relational solutions with other cultures. Witness the “Comprehensive Immigration” proposal that provides “amnesty” for Mexicans seeking American citizenship.
Regarding government-centered economic development, McCain stands in direct opposition with his campaign opponents:
“The sad failures of government-centered economic development have proven that private markets are the only hope for sustained prosperity.”
Regarding taxes, McCain has proposed that the “tax code” should be more “pro-growth” in order to enhance our international competitiveness. Relatedly, he expresses a profound commitment to true fiscal conservatism:
“Congress just passed another omnibus appropriations bill stuffed with nearly 10,000 earmarks costing about $10 billion. Washington needs to get the message. No Earmarks.”
McCain has delivered the message.
In this context, McCain looks to market-driven solutions to social benefits ideals:
“This means reducing spending on healthcare programs, and reducing the threat that higher healthcare costs present to our businesses and families—while maintaining the quality of our medical science.”
Relatedly, McCain’s platform speaks in sharp relief about entrepreneurial leadership:
“Hard work, ingenuity, and entrepreneurialism are a proven route to meeting one’s goals and providing for children and family. (We are) committed to preserving their freedom, ensuring that they are not shackled by excessive regulation, starved of risk capital or taxed into submission.”
In summary, we may view the Freedom Scores for McCain in Table 4. He is rated as follows:
- Independent in relating which appears to be McCain’s lifestyle—competing or cooperating depending on his discriminations of performance (3.0).
- Independent in governance because McCain believes that the government should do its job in supporting the private sector and should use less of America’s money in doing it (3.0).
- Entrepreneurial in enterprise because McCain believes “entrepreneurs lie at the heart of innovation, growth, and advancing prosperity (5.0).
TABLE 4: Freedom Scores for McCain
Overall, McCain’s Mean Freedom Score is 3.7, rounded off to “4.” Driven by Entrepreneurial Enterprise, he seeks to Align Government Resources with private sector initiatives and Cultural Relating according to their ability to contribute to the American Prosperity Mission.
In the final analysis, McCain appears to be positioned at the “extreme middle” rather than the “far right.” McCain is dedicated to what a patriot believes America needs—not necessarily what Americans want. He continues to emphasize American security and supports extensions to wars as his highest priorities. These priorities may be summarized in the terms of another, earlier Arizona Senator:
…extremism in defense of liberty is no vice!
…(And) moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!
– Barry Goldwater